2018 Training Videos and Documentation

Our 2018 release is here, and so are the new training materials! Aside from our written documentation, which has been updated with the latest enhancements, we’ve also created six new training videos to highlight and explain some of the new features:

Client Referral Programs – Introduction

Client Referral Programs – Set-up

Client Referral Programs – Usage

Cayan Genius Handheld Terminal

Cayan Genius Mini Terminal

StudioPlus Mail – Delivery Statuses

We’re so excited for this new release and want to help you utilize these new features to better your own business! If you have any questions on the new 2018 features, feel free to contact our support team at Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com.

Happy learning!

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Authorized Consultant’s 2-Day Sale!

One of our Authorized Independent Consultants, Steph Lesser, is offering a flash, 2-day sale!

Get six 1-hour Sessions for just $199.

What a great way to start off the new year and meet any New Year’s resolutions!

Click here for more information and to sign up!

Contact Steph for any questions at Solutions.Steph@gmail.com or give her a call at +1 (561) 809-1031

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Set up your 2018 Holidays

2018 is here, and now is the perfect time to get your studio ready to tackle the new year! A great way to get started is by importing 2018 holidays into your Spectra/myStratus database. You don’t have to stop at holidays either. You can also import any special event that will affect your studio. This includes staff birthdays, days the studio will be closed, company retreats, or anything else that you want visible on your calendar!

Start by creating an Excel spreadsheet of all the holidays/events you want on your calendar. Click here to download a pre-made spreadsheet from our website with a list of 2018 holidays for your country. If you don’t see your country listed, create your own holiday spreadsheet or download another country’s list to use as a template. With the downloaded spreadsheet, you can add, modify, or delete any holidays/events your studio does or doesn’t observe.

Once your spreadsheet is ready to be imported, go to Maintenance > General > Special Calendar Events and Holidays > Import from Excel. Then select the spreadsheet you downloaded and import it. Once the import process finishes, the holidays from your spreadsheet will now be visible on everyone’s calendar within Spectra/myStratus.

Click here for detailed instructions on this process.

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Authorized Consultant’s End of Year Sale!

One of our Authorized Independent StudioPlus Consultants, Steph Lesser, has a special sale running from now until the end of the 2017!

Learn how to better utilize areas of the software such as:

  • Statuses
  • Triggers
  • Price Lists
  • The Dashboard and other Reporting tools
  • Digital Workflow
  • InspiredByYou.com

Buy your session now and use it anytime!

Click here for more information and to sign up!

Contact Steph for any questions at Solutions.Steph@gmail.com or give her a call at +1 (561) 809-1031

Happy Holidays!

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Best SMS Practices – Get Creative!

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot of different ways to use the SMS feature. It’s a great system to incorporate into your everyday workflow. Here are  a few examples of different ways you can use the SMS service:

• Send a quick text to a client who’s not answering calls or emails to let them know the best number they can reach you.

• Send a quick text to a client if they forgot something at your studio.

• Send a quick text to a bride-to-be asking for extra details about the wedding.

• Send a triggered text to your photographer letting them know who their next session is with, along with additional details to assist them in working with the client.

• Send a triggered text to your client, after they book online, letting them know their session was received by the system.

• Send a triggered text to your client reminding them of their session and what they need to bring.

• Send a triggered text to your client reminding them they have a payment due soon.

• Send a triggered text to your client to say “thank you” for their session and let them know what happens next.

• Send a triggered text to your client indicating their order is ready for pick up or has been shipped.

• Send a triggered text to your client that their gallery is ready to view on InspiredByYou.com

• Send a triggered text to your retoucher that a new order was placed on InspiredByYou.com

• Use the Communication Wizard to remind students to book their session online by a certain date.

• Use the Communication Wizard to text clients about a brand-new promotion or sale.

• Use the Communication Wizard to let a group of clients know that you have openings if they want to stop in.

The list doesn’t stop here. There are many different ways you can utilize texting for both you and your employees. Just get creative – which is what the photography business is all about!

Also, always remember to include your studio name in your texts, so your client always knows where the text came from. It can be as simple as:

“Hi Jane! Sam here from The Studio! Just a reminder about your upcoming session…”

Love the ideas, but not sure where to start with phrasing? Click here to read our blog post with some awesome ideas to get you started texting clients.

Click here for more information/pricing for the SMS add-on!

Click here for more information on setting up Triggers!

Click here for more information on using the Communication Wizard!


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Best SMS Practices – Triggers and the Communication Wizard

In the Professional version of Spectra/myStratus, there are some advanced features you can utilize to take your SMS messaging to the next level. The biggest features are Triggers and the Communication Wizard.

With Triggers, you can automate sending texts to your clients. The greatest aspect of triggers is that once they’re set up, they maintain themselves. This means you don’t have to constantly monitor whether a client received a specific text. You can even set it up if a client doesn’t have a textable number, they’ll receive an email or phone call record instead! So as you’re going about your communications and texts with clients, ask yourself if this is a communication that can be automated as a text.

With the Communication Wizard, you can send a text out to your clients in bulk. This feature would mainly be used if you have a notification, promotion, etc. that you want to text to a large group of clients at once.

Automation is such a key part in reducing expensive employee hours and increasing outreach to clients. These features are truly incredible, and they will help you communicate more efficiently with both clients and employees. Think of how much time this would save you!

Not already on the Professional Version? Contact our Sales Department at Sales@StudioPlusSoftware.com to see if this upgrade would be a good fit for your studio!

Click here for more information/pricing on the SMS add-on!

Click here for more information on setting up Triggers!

Click here for more information on using the Communication Wizard!

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Best SMS Practices – The SMS Checkbox

When working with SMS, there’s one setting that’s very important to get in the habit of using. On a client’s record, next to each listed phone number in the upper right-hand corner, there’s a checkbox for SMS. This checkbox MUST be checked to enable the system to text this number. This includes texts sent via Triggers or the Communication Wizard.

For both triggered texts and texts through the Communication Wizard, the system needs to know which numbers are okay to send texts to. A client may have multiple phone numbers on their record, but perhaps only one of those numbers can receive texts. This checkbox prevents multiple texts from getting sent to numbers that can’t/shouldn’t receive them in the first place.

For myStratus users, if you are using Online Booking, make sure to turn on the Main Phone/Mobile Phone and May we text you? options on the Client tab in your Online Booking Preferences. This means new clients using your online booking portal will be able to give you their numbers as well as confirm whether they want to receive texts. When the record comes into myStratus, the SMS checkbox will already be checked accordingly.

So get started early to make sure this checkbox gets marked for every client with a textable number. You don’t want to get caught late one night trying to create a text to go out through the Communication Wizard only to find none of the clients have their checkbox checked.

Don’t assume all your clients are giving you a number capable of receiving texts either. Believe it or not, landline phones and non-unlimited data plans are still common! So just remember to ask your clients if they are okay with receiving texts. The majority will still say yes.

Click here for information/pricing for the SMS add-on

For more information on upgrading to the Professional version or switching to myStratus, contact our Sales department at Sales@StudioPlusSoftware.com!

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Best SMS Practices – Marketing Tips

During the holiday season, you probably want to raise your marketing to reach your clients trying to find the perfect gift. What’s more perfect than a beautiful family portrait from your studio?! However, your client’s inboxes are already full of marketing from other businesses that want to reach them as well. Check out these tips to help your SMS marketing stand out this holiday season:

Personalize it – You don’t want to sound like a robot when you text your clients. Personalize your automated texts by adding merge fields (e.g. “Hi [First Name]! We had a great time visiting with you at your session today! Let us know if you have any questions or comments to pass on! Thanks – The Studio”). On top of that, always sign your studio name with your texts so your clients know where you’re texting from.

Keep it simple – Many people probably remember the term KISSKeep It Simple, Silly! Text messages are meant to be looked at quickly. Your clients aren’t going to stop their busy schedule to read a book of information texted to them, especially from a marketer. Even a long link can be off-putting to a client. There are services out there that take a long URL and shorten it for this specific reason. Bitly is one of the leading services available for shortened URLS – See for yourself!

Keep it a secret – Shhh! Clients love getting exclusive offers! Offer special promotions they can only get by being part of your SMS marketing.

Reward them – Give your clients a reason to want to receive your texts. One way is by offering them a prize when they opt-in (e.g. “Give us your phone number for SMS marketing and receive $10 off your next purchase!”). Users with the Platinum SMS plan can go even further. Since your SMS number is dedicated to your studio only, you can have your clients text you first in order to opt-in (e.g. “Text “PHOTO” to 888-888-8888 and get $10 off your next purchase!”).

Keep it relevant – When sending texts, ask yourself “Can my client do anything with the information I’m sending them?” If you’re sending out a text blast telling people about the Christmas tree you put up at your studio, it might put a smile on their face, but there’s nothing they can do with that information. Pretty soon you’ll be lower on that client’s priority list for which texts to view. Using the Christmas tree example, you can get the client involved by texting something like “We’re getting in the holiday spirit with our new Christmas tree at The Studio! Stop by this week only for an exclusive Christmas Photo Session!”

It’s important to always have your client in mind when sending out marketing texts. One of the best ways to do this is to keep yourself in mind as well. Think of the marketing texts and emails you’ve received. Which messages grabbed your attention? Which ones did you know would go nowhere?

Click here for more information/pricing on the SMS add-on!


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Best SMS Practices – Keep away from Spam!

In the sea of marketing going on right now with the holiday season, it’s easy to want to send your clients every bit of information about your holiday promotions and all the changes going on within your business. However, by doing so, you may inadvertently be spamming your clients. Phone and email providers are constantly scanning for spam-like texts/emails. It’s important to make sure your own marketing doesn’t come across as Spam.

No one likes getting Spam, and you may not even realize you’re spamming clients. Follow these tips to keep your texts Spam-free:

Keep it different – To prevent phone providers from flagging your texts as Spam, keep each text message different by including merge fields (e.g. “Hi [First Name]! We had fun seeing you on [Session Date] …”). Two or more merge fields should be enough to show phone providers you’re sending personalized messages to your clients.

Spread it out – If you have a large number of texts to send, you might want to consider spacing out when the texts are sent. If you try sending hundreds of texts at once, it can bog down a phone provider and cause them to look at you as Spam. Perhaps try sending smaller groups of texts over a period of time (e.g. send 100 texts at 10 A.M., another 100 at 11 A.M, and so on). Another suggestion is not to use the exact same wording for your blast—for each sub-batch, change a word or two to keep each sub-batch different. Also, for your client’s sake, don’t text the same client every day either. They’ll get sick of the texts and so will their phone provider.

Avoid “spammy” phrases – Some texts just scream Spam. Have you ever received a text or email with phrases like “Save Big!” or “Act Now!”? Avoiding phrases like this will not only let phone providers know you’re not out to Spam people, but also your clients will see you with more credibility.

Let your customers opt-out – Your clients will have more peace of mind if they know your marketing isn’t a lifetime commitment. Our SMS service has it built-in that if a client responds “STOP”, we will no longer text that number. Including this information in your marketing texts can show your clients you’re not intending to Spam them.

Take responsibility – Always include your studio name with your texts so clients know where the SMS messages are coming from.

Keep it relevant – Give your clients information they can actually use. If you bombard them with useless information about your studio, they won’t care when you send them important information that is truly about them.

Keep it casual – You set the tone for your communications with clients. Talk to your them like they’re a friend. If your clients receive a cold “Hello” or “Dear”, then they’ll view your text in a cold manner. You don’t want clients to think you’re some marketing robot.

Get a Response – Interacting with your clients is key. If your clients are sending texts back to you, their phone provider won’t think you’re spamming them. Ask your clients questions or tell them to respond to get an exclusive offer. There are multiple ways to get your clients involved.

Utilizing all these tips is a great way to keep on top of your marketing content and show both your clients and their phone providers that you’re not trying to Spam them.


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Best SMS Practices – The TCPA

Just like with email marketing, there are laws you should be aware of when it comes to marketing to your clients over text messages. The bulk of these laws can be found in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Click here to view the full contents of the act.

According to the TCPA, you must have consent from your client before you can text them. Multiple ways exist to get this consent – even having the client check ‘Yes’ on the May We Text You? field for Online Booking (myStratus Only) can be considered consent. Consent can also come in the form of you having an “established business relationship with the recipient”. This means if you have been actively working with this client and they knowingly give you their mobile number, that can be considered consent as well.

So even if you do have an established business relationship with your client, it’s still a common courtesy to ask if it’s OK to include them in your SMS marketing when they give you their mobile number.

Another important part of the TCPA is that your clients must have the ability to opt-out of your marketing at any time. To accommodate this, we already have something built into our SMS feature. If your clients ever want to opt-out of receiving SMS messages, they can respond to your text with “STOP” and the system will automatically stop sending them texts. Whether you choose to include in your texts that clients can opt-out or not, this feature still exists.

The TCPA is an act for the United States, but other countries have their own SMS marketing laws as well. Many of the regulations described in this post are also in place for other countries, so it’s important to be aware of what laws affect you.

Click here for more information/pricing on the SMS add-on.

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